Blackjack Card Counting Strategy
Update — though the world of online blackjack card-counting doesn’t change too much, we’d like to let you know that Jeff Ma has a new book called “The House Advantage”.
No, it has nothing to do with mortgages. Nor is it really a guide to card-counting, as much as it is a guide to using card-counting concepts to help you in business. However, there are so many great examples of Ma’s Vegas career in the book that we call it a must-read for anyone interested in card-counting, or gambling in general.
You may remember Jeff as one of the legendary MIT card-counters who made a business and science out of taking the casinos for all they were worth. He was the basis for the character “Kevin Lewis” in Bringing Down the House, and “Ben Campbell” in the film 21 (yes, it’s not very nice to portray Asian Americans using white actors — essentially saying that people wouldn’t go to a movie if Asian Americans were in it — but Ma doesn’t seem to mind too much, so why should we?).
At this point, you will be well aware of the benefits and basics of blackjack card counting strategies. While it may seem daunting, or only for mathematical geniuses (hands up, who saw Rain Man?), card counting is as simple as being able to keep one number in your head and adding or subtracting one or two from that number as each card is dealt. You’ve already learned all the rules of blackjack, right? You can certainly make these kinds of simple calculations when playing online blackjack at your choice of the best online casino.
The beauty of online casinos is that you can practice card counting techniques and strategies with no distractions – and none of the pressures you might feel in a land-based casino. As far as casino games go, blackjack – for this reason – lends itself perfectly to the online gambling forum.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a good head for numbers when you’re playing or betting on a game that deals with odds and probabilities, such as a game of online bingo at bingo halls such as Mecca Bingo, that change with every single card that is dealt. In fact, bingo games have a lot in common with blackjack, from a probability / statistical point of view – unlike other casinos games that are dependent on a random number generator, such as slot machines. Anyone who is truly serious about card counting in blackjack would only benefit from a quick study of what they stand to gain from mastering any of the basic or advanced card counting techniques, perfect for practicing at any of our recommended online gambling spots.
First of all, you are already counting cards when you play blackjack, whether you know you are doing it or not. When you decide whether or not to hit or stand, you are reacting in a binary manner to the card totals in front of you. That’s pretty much all you are doing with a simple form of blackjack card counting. In the Ace – 5 (Wizard) strategy, you are simply saying “Good!” when the dealer gets a 5, and “Oh, darn!” (or whatever you’d like to insert there) when you see the dealer get one of those juicy Aces.
Sure, it takes a little extra brainpower to run one of the more complex strategies, but just about anyone with a first grade education can master the Hi/ Lo card counting strategy. You give yourself a mental thumbs-up when you see a low card over at the dealer’s place, and a thumbs down when he gets one of those high cards that you should have. Usually you’ll just be riding somewhere around zero anyway, so counting those thumbs shouldn’t be such a big deal. Just remember, the better your numbers get, the more you should bet. And vice versa.
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Now, even I must admit that the more advanced gambling strategies in blackjack card counting seen in a casino can be a little cumbersome to get a grip on. But, as with anything, practice is the key. Don’t even think about trying it out during a weekend in Vegas until you know it backwards and forwards! One of the best ways to put in some practice play is to visit an online casino, like any of the ones that we’ve recommended on this page. For those across the pond try this UK Casino. Online casinos are the perfect, no pressure environment as a player can take their time – even put a blackjack game on pause – as you practice your card counting techniques. One of our recommends is Cherry Red, a US online casino that has it all – great casinos games, great customer service, and one of the best reputations in the industry.
Along with blackjack, there are other online casino games that rely heavily on probability – which don’t require advanced card counting-learning tactics:
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